Now that motorists are back on the road, whether they're driving back to work after being remote or simply reentering the world as restrictions begin to lift, it's worth considering that cars could be in need of services that may have been put off while they were stuck at home. Although cars may have been sitting unused in driveways or garages, that doesn't mean they don't need attention. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Vehicles that have been sitting idle can have problems with oil, fuel, tire pressure and more.
The following are some of the different things that should be addressed in cars to make certain they're running optimally.
Windshield Wipers. You don't want to wait until the bad weather starts to get your windshield wipers checked. This is an easy fix that can save you a lot of trouble.
Tires. You'll also want to check your tire pressure. Too much or too little air is dangerous. And remember, the tires need to be repositioned from time to time. Rotating the tires ensures you're evening out the wear and tear on them, in turn making them last longer.
Engine Oil. Every car needs regular oil changes, though the frequency depends on the kind of car you have. If you've used your car less (or more!) during the pandemic, you'll want to consider how many miles you've driven rather than the usual time increment you might go by. Either way, it's not a bad idea to get this looked at, along with your air filter while you're at it.
Battery. Batteries only last so long, and if they're not used over time then they'll become discharged. If your car doesn't start up, this is likely the culprit. You can use jumper cables to try and jump the car if it doesn't start up right away, but if the battery is completely dead, it will unfortunately need to be replaced.
Steering. Vehicle owners should check power steering fluid roughly once per month. If you're unsure how to do this or if you haven't been actively using your car, it's something you'll want to get serviced.
Brakes. You don't want to push down on that pedal only to realize your brakes aren't working. This is perhaps the most important safety feature and functionality of a car. If you haven't driven in a while, they may have a bit of rust that will shake loose after a noisy drive down the block. (Although this depends just how long it's been sitting and in what conditions). Even more important is the brake fluid and checking for corrosion. If your brakes are in trouble, you're in trouble.
For some people, there was no need to drive much during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore no need to service their vehicles. But it's not something you'll want to delay any longer if you've been putting it off.
If there comes a time in the future when you know your car will be sitting for a long period, you can do a few preventative things to ensure it runs properly afterward. These include disconnecting the battery, parking it in a safe, dry spot protected from weather conditions, keeping the tire pressure up, and, if possible, driving it around the block periodically.
The number of miles driven in June 2021 increased 14.5% compared to June 2020, according to The National Safety Council. This shows that people are in fact getting back behind the wheel after a period of time where they weren't. But apparently the roads have also become more dangerous, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There were record numbers of motor vehicle accidents in 2020 and those numbers have continued to increase in 2021.
With the roads being populated again and drivers being reckless, it's more important than ever to make sure you're doing everything you can in order to stay safe and in control while in your vehicle. This starts with ensuring that your car has been properly serviced.
Greening Testing Laboratories is a fully certified brake testing lab that provides a variety of brake testing services worldwide. Contact Greening for a complimentary consultation.